Back when I was working on my doctorate in music (in the 70s) we used to have a joke about, "Tchaikovsky's anonymous." If you found yourself wanting to listen to some Tchaikovsky, you could call up a friend and they would talk you out of it. In those days, Tchaikovsky was given as much respect as film music...it was considered beneath the dignity of any self-respecting music student to admit you liked either. His music was never studied in my musicology classes, and I never mentioned his name in the classes I taught..nor was film music. Yet, every instrumentalist had to know the repertoire for auditions and every piano major had to learn the First Concerto.
Even with such indoctrination, I must admit that I find the 6th to be one of the great masterpieces of music. I dread the thought of hearing the 5th again. Same things with Carmina Burana. You can check the "playlists" of the Symphony Orchestra League. The 5th is still heard with some frequency.
On Wednesday, June 8, 2016 1:34 AM, John Haley <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
It is always a fun exercise to hear, many years later, a recording you grew
up with, and see if you still love it the same as before. Sometimes your
first impressions are happily confirmed, sometimes not. I haven't done
that in this case, but the first recording I knew of Tchaikovsky's 5th Sym
was the Columbia 78's of Ormandy conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Ormandy's early recordings could be stupendous performances, unlike at the
other end of his long career. That's one I sure would like to hear again.
I will hunt for it.
I am another great admirer of Mravinsky's Tchaikovsky Symphony recordings
(both mono and stereo), as well as those of Markevitch. I also had
Monteux' BSO stereo LP of the 5th Symphony as a teenager, and I have to
confess that many of Monteux's recordings have not stood the test of time
that well with me, including this one. The performance is well played by
the BSO but just lacks fire.
For Tchaikovsky's 6th Symphony, it is really hard to beat Giulini's EMI
recording with the Philharmonia Orchestra. It has great sound on CD. Now
I'll have to dig that one up and listen to it again.
Come to think of it, I have not encountered Tchaikovsky's great symphonies
very much on live concerts in recent decades. Is it possible that they
have somewhat fallen out of favor? Decades ago I did hear Haitink conduct
the Tchaikovsky 4th Symphony in Carnegie Hall, and (sorry, Steve), was that
ever a soggy, uninspired performance.
On Tue, Jun 7, 2016 at 8:17 PM, Steven Smolian <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> My personal favorite of T5 is none of the above but Haitink, A Con O on
> Philips 6500 922. I also love the sound. I've large file of those 6500xxx
> Philips of the Concertgebouw on Dutch or other good pressings. I'd be
> interested in s similar version but with the old-fashioned Russian horn
> sound. I recall some of Rostropovich's Russian opera recordings on DGG
> used this kind of orchestra. Anyway, I think Haitink is a vastly
> underrated conductor, along with Kertesz.
> Steve Smolian
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:
> [log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Richard L. Hess
> Sent: Tuesday, June 07, 2016 7:40 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Does anyone (has anyone ever) conducted
> Tchaikovsky like Koussevitzky?
> Dear Dennis,
> Music is so personal and the emotion is so much a part of the listening
> experience. I recall hearing Georg Solti conducting T5 with the Chicagoans
> in the late 1970s or early 1980s. Phenomenal! Wow! I marched out of the
> I just listened to the fourth movement of the Philips recording by Valery
> Gergiev from 1998 with the Vienna Philharmonic recorded live in the Grosses
> Festspielhaus, Salzburg. The applause was as I remembered it for Solti at
> Carnegie Hall. Though I had just listened to the same movement by Mravinsky
> which was probably better and didn't have the loud Bravos at the end. From
> the Philips Original Jackets CD18.
> The Dorati/Minneapolis T5 from the MLP3-12 set is less inspiring on many
> levels (sorry Tom). It sounds more plodding and I didn't like the sound
> quality as much (I'm not certain why as I generally like MLP recordings).
> It's not that it's bad, but if I recall correctly, it's an early recording
> and sounds it, though the Mravinsky is a fairly old recording as well, no?
> Thanks for the impetus to enjoy music <smile>.
> On 6/7/2016 12:28 PM, Dennis Rooney wrote:
> > Dear Ben,
> > The Tchaikovsky Fifth rarely fails to make a strong impression at
> > first hearing, so your preference for Koussevitzky's BSO RCA Victor
> > recording isn't surprising, although I must add that that recording
> > usually does not lead any list of best recorded versions, nor for that
> > matter does the Bernstein. You might investigate those of Igor
> > Markevich, Yevgeny Mravinsky, Pierre Monteux, Artur Rodzinski, Valery
> > Gergiev, and, if you accept their mannerisms, Leopold Stokowski and
> Willem Mengelberg.
> > Ciao,
> > DDR
> Richard L. Hess email: [log in to unmask]
> Aurora, Ontario, Canada 647 479 2800
> Quality tape transfers -- even from hard-to-play tapes.